The winner of the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction’s “Win $2010 in the year 2010” contest is Allen MacNeill, for his prediction that handheld computers would exist by 2010. In 1980, under then editor Ed Ferman, Fantasy & Science Fiction held a 30th anniversary contest, asking readers to choose the science fiction concept most likely to be realized by the year 2010. The approximately 2,700 entries were kept securely and, as promised, were recently opened to determine the winner (a few months ahead of schedule).
Ferman noted that “so many entries projected a sense of confidence and hope that it was somewhat distressing to see how badly we fell short in realizing these predictions.” Winner MacNeill said, “I came up with the one about ‘home computer terminals with interactive access to other home, business and academic terminals, and including hand-held terminals’ mostly because I had been using the PLATO terminals in Uris Hall at Cornell and wished very, very much that I could have one of my own (and especially one that I could carry around with me).” He went on to speculate that perhaps 30 years from now “we will be using some version of a ‘cloud-book,’ for which most of the processing and hard memory/data storage will be located somewhere else.” Seems reasonable! We’ll see… in 30 years.